Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, a Column for Dogs by a Dog

Feb 01, 2021

I am a Carolina Dog, a breed that long ago owned Native American people. We were designed by natural selection to be so intelligent and physically superior that we survived without human help. My great-grandfather was caught from the wild. I can offer advice based on the natural instincts and attributes of wild dogs. In addition, my adopted person and I have had lots of training classes and other experiences. Some humans call themselves Mom or Dad of their dog, but I refer to my human, tongue in cheek, as Boss. Much as I love her, I admit she has many of the same odd notions as most humans, so I can relate to other dogs with problem humans. If I can’t help, at least I can offer sympathy, and we can have some fun talking about our amazing humans. Please send your questions! N. Holmes, 280 Pond Rd., Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:


Dear Bammy,

I am a Wheaten Terrier, a friendly, active, fun-loving breed. My den has a big fenced yard with lots of toys, and my human pack plays with me a lot. The human puppies are so much fun that I run and chase and fetch until my tongue hangs out halfway to my knees. There are some agility things in the yard. Dad and the biggest human pup, Jill, play on them with me almost every day. Once in a while we all get in the car and go to an Agility Trial. That’s a big place with barking dogs and lots big toys to jump over, run through, climb on. I get so excited; I just can’t wait to get there. The humans keep telling me to shut up, but I can’t help panting and whining.

The best thing about trials is that there are so many dogs, and most of them wag at me and want to play. I play-bow and pull on the leash so hard that Jill calls for Dad to come and help her. Dad scolds and yanks on the leash, but I can’t help it! It’s the only time I’m near other dogs, and I NEED to play with them. Sometimes when my humans take me in the car, I see dogs as we go by. I jump at the windows and bark for them to come and play. But the humans just drive by and tell me DOWN and QUIET!

Bammy, this is driving me crazy. I love my pack and I love agility and playing in the yard, but – DOGS! I need other dogs so much! Maybe some human who reads this letter has a dog who needs to play, too.

Thank you for all your commonsense advice.

Lonely Liam


Dear Lonely,

That is so sad! I think I would be howling. Boss and I did agility, too, but I didn’t trust dogs who I didn’t know. I’ve been attacked a couple of times. I’m so glad you have a good human pack. You are lucky to have all those humans to play with! But it’s just not the same thing, is it? Boss and I often meet Dudley and Larry, who live next door, walking in the woods with their nice humans. The humans stand around and talk while we dogs chase and wrestle. When we go separate ways, of course I go with Boss even though Larry wants to stay and play with me.

I certainly agree that you need dog friends but finding them won’t be easy. Unless you can wish for them so hard that a dog friend comes to you. Or you can be such a nuisance that your humans will try different things to settle you down. If you constantly tease your humans to play with you, they might get the idea. The bad part about that is the humans will be so annoyed. I’ve heard other dogs talk about places where humans and dogs go to talk and run around together and play. But I don’t know how a dog would even know about such a place, let alone how to get their humans to go there. Can you ever hear dogs barking from your den? If you bark back, it might give your humans an idea of your loneliness. You could even howl.

I’m sorry I can’t be more help for you and other lonely dogs. Sometimes humans rule, no matter what we do. If you think of other ways to find a dog friend, please let us all know.

Keep hoping, Liam. May you find a dog-friend soon,



Photo by Nancy Holmes: Bammy and Pookah with a tug toy Boss made for us.